The Herald newspaper

David Hamilton Jackson was one of the pioneers in the struggle for better working conditions in the Danish colony in the West Indies. One of his most important initiatives was the newspaper The Herald, which he created in 1915. The newspaper was the voice of the workers' struggle and published sharp criticism of the situation in the islands.
Frontpage of the Herald.
Front page of The Herald on June 10th, 1916, to be sold for 1 cent. (Danish National Archives).

In January 1915 David Hamilton Jackson began writing letter to the editor of the Westend News criticizing the poor conditions at the hospital at Peter’s Farm. This gradually developed into harsh criticism of conditions on St. Croix and especially of the miserable conditions of the working class. In addition, he censured the white population headed by the governor L. C. Helweg-Larsen.

Money from Denmark and New York

Jackson collected money to start his own newspaper, The Herald, on a trip to Denmark and New York in 1915. A trial number was published on 29 October 1915, and the first real number was on the streets three days later.

”A paper for the people”

The newspaper proclaimed that it would be ”a paper for the people”, and that ”the people shall rule and not be ruled by a few selected bosses”. Jackson was both publisher and editor, and the newspaper had its office at 1B Kongens Gade  in Christiansted. The newspaper had three agents: Charles Christopher Reubel in Christiansted, shopkeeper Theobald Brow in Frederiksted and orchestra leader Alton A. Adams on St. Thomas.

Public company

The newspaper was financed as a public company instituted in New York in August 1915. The majority of the capital was raised among people who had immigrated to New York from the Danish colony in the West Indies.

Demanded sweeping reforms

David Hamilton Jackson’s closest daily co-worker and secretary was Ralph Bough, and co-editor Ralph de Chabert wrote most articles in the newspaper together with Jackson. They criticized conditions in the colony, particularly on St. Croix, and demanded sweeping economic, social and political reforms.

Health, working conditions and literature

The newspaper also contained much general information, for example on health and on American trade unions and working conditions, and lists of useful literature was a recurring feature. The Herald was politically close to the social democratic movement, and the magazine’s motto was: Liberty – Equality – Fraternity. The newspaper was published until 1925. At that time, David Hamilton Jackson was a member of the Colonial Council of St. Croix and had helped to create the Labour Union a long time previously.